Heroin dealers get four-year prison terms

By Peter H. Milliken



Two men were sentenced to four years in prison for their roles in a heroin-distribution conspiracy, whose base of operations was on the city’s West Side, and a third man was put on probation for his supporting role.

On Tuesday, Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court sentenced Christopher Johnson, 24, of Rush Boulevard, and Dennis J. Sklenchar Jr., 20, of Staatz Drive, to their prison terms.

Johnson pleaded guilty to two counts of heroin trafficking and one count each of trafficking in a counterfeit controlled substance and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Sklenchar pleaded guilty to four counts of heroin trafficking and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and agreed to forfeit $424 he obtained June 12, 2013, from the illegal activity.

Robert A. Basic, 37, of Oak Trace, pleaded guilty to one count of permitting drug abuse for knowingly driving a car used in the illegal drug activity Oct. 25, 2012, and was put on probation.

The drug-trafficking conspiracy purportedly operated between December 2011 and November 2012.

The purported ringleader, John Skarada, 38, of Connecticut Avenue, awaits trial and faces a minimum of 11 years in prison if he’s convicted of all counts, said Martin P. Desmond, an assistant county prosecutor.

Two more defendants, Shauna Lee Barber, of Connecticut Avenue, and Bruce A. Dawson, of Roy Street, both 26, have hearings later this month, at which Desmond said he expects them to plead guilty.

Skarada and Barber were apprehended in a traffic stop in Trumbull County as they were returning here from Detroit with several hundred grams of heroin, Desmond said. There are 28 grams in 1 ounce.

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